Review: THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES by Suzy Vitello

Series: The Empress Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Published September 4th 2014 by Diversion Books
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…

When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.

One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.

When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…

Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES

Okay, I have to admit, during the first few chapters, I was bored. But eventually, the story of Liz and Sisi's life got me hooked. I love how the author connected Liz from the present and Sisi from the past through Sisi's diary that Liz found in her doctor's office. Even I would be obsessed in someone's story if I found the real diary of that person. Through Vitello's writing, I've clearly seen how history repeated itself with two different persons with similar fate, plus the part where the present can change the way things happened in the past.

I never thought reading a historical fiction for the first time would give me these emotions I cannot explain. I feel so sad, sorry, and empty. I cannot imagine how Sisi dealt with the things that happened to her. The moment when she's to do everything for the sake of love, to be reunited once again with him... On the other side of the story, I feel glad for Liz when she was able to overcome her fears and face them. But I feel like I need to see more of what will happen to her and Cory... if they would experience the same thing... if they would have the same fate as Sisi and Count S. 

Because I wanted everything to slowly sink in, I read two chapters per night from this book - one from Sis's POV and one from Liz' POV. I felt sad most of the time. The air that surround me while reading The Empress Chronicles felt cold and empty. This is one of those books that I need want to read and I'm glad I did because I love sad and tragic love stories. Yes, I torture my heart with sad stories.  I even borrowed a copy of the real Sisi's diary from a friend because I am so intrigued with what really happened to her. This is such a heartbreaking story and I NEED THE SECOND BOOK ASAP.


Suzy Vitello

Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).

Twitter: @suzy_vitello



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